Chopra can play only if he is an Indian passport holder: AIFF

Last Updated: Jan 28, 2011, 15:17 PM IST

New Delhi: The All India Football Federation
(AIFF) on Friday reiterated that Michael Chopra will be eligible
to represent India only if the Cardiff City striker surrenders
his British passport for an Indian one.

The Indian-origin player, yesterday, again expressed his
willingness to represent India, and the AIFF said Chopra`s
agent has been told about the criteria that he would need to
fulfill to represent the country.

"As far as India is concerned, he can`t be a dual
passport holder. He can play for the country only if he
surrenders his British passport and becomes an Indian passport
holder," said AIFF general secretary Kushal Das.

"His (Chopra`s) agent has been told that he will have to
have an Indian passport," Das added.

Nominated as one of the contenders for the British Asian
Sports Personality of the year, Chopra said, "I`m still
following my football dream at Cardiff and hope to step up to
the international stage by representing India."

Prior to the Asian Cup in Doha, there was a lot of buzz
around Chopra representing India in the continental event, and
the striker also witnessed Bob Houghton`s boys train at their
base in Abu Dhabi besides holding talks with AIFF officials.

Meanwhile, the AIFF is planning to inform the home
ministry and the sports ministry about hackers damaging its

Hackers in Pakistan turned the entire AIFF homepage into
a propaganda message board before the AIFF officials got in
touch with the Canadian company hosting the website and
blocked the offensive content.

"This was the second time it happened. The site has been
restored, but we are planning to bring this to the notice of
the sports ministry and the home ministry," Das said.

"We are getting some external help to see how this can
be avoided," Das said.